One person was killed and two seriously injured when a crane collapsed onto Worth Street in Tribeca around 8:25 on the morning of Thursday, February 4, 2016. FDNY responded to the scene where, according to the Johnson City Press, the huge boom of the crane had scraped buildings on the way down, littering the street with wood and concrete debris, before it landed on several cars. The cab of the crane was upside down in the snow, with its tracks pointing up to the sky. One person was killed instantly. Another seriously injured person was trapped in a car. The accident shut down street and subway traffic for hours as investigators made sure the crash had not compromised gas lines in the neighborhood.
The New York Post identified the man killed as 38-year-old David Wichs. An immigrant from Prague, Czechoslovakia, Wichs was a Harvard-educated mathematician who lived on the Upper West Side and worked at the financial trading firm Tower Research Capital. He was married to Rebecca Guttman, an associate at the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP.
The others injured were Dawn Kojima, 45, of Clifton, NJ and Thomas O’Brien, 73, of North Easton, MA. Kojima was transferred to New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital, with a head wound, where she was reportedly in stable condition. Thomas, who suffered a head injury when the crane fell on his car, was also hospitalized in stable condition. An FDNY firefighter sustained minor injuries.
On the lighter side, a FDNY chaplain stepped up to help a bride in danger of missing her City Hall wedding. According to Reuters, 25-year-old Nesh Pillay was trapped with her sister and mother at a salon where they were having their hair done for the ceremony. The chaplain wrapped Pillay in a firefighter’s coat and escorted her past the wreckage to City Hall, protecting her white dress from dust and debris.
The cause of the crane collapse is under investigation. However, New Yorkers are justifiably concerned. Crane accidents have been far too frequent in the city in recent months, and seemingly everywhere New Yorkers look there is construction, much of it overhead, employing tower cranes to lift enormously heavy loads.
At Barasch & McGarry, our attorneys manage personal injury cases for firefighters, police, EMTs and civilians. If you want to know about your rights after a crane collapse or any other type of accident, call us today at [ln::phone] or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.